15 earn Theological Institute degrees

Graduates of the St. John's Seminary Theological Institute for The New Evangelization pose with Cardinal O'Malley, rector Msgr. James Moroney and seminary faculty and staff following their May 19 commencement. Pilot photo/Christopher S. Pineo

BRIGHTON -- Fifteen graduates of the Theological Institute for The New Evangelization received degrees May 19 in the 2015 class of the Master of Arts in Ministry and Master of Theological Studies program, during a commencement ceremony at St. John's Seminary with Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley and rector Msgr. James P. Moroney.

Two deacons graduated the Master of Arts in Ministry program this year, a first for the Theological Institute. The Office of the Permanent Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Boston and the Theological Institute arranged it so that some credits in comparable academic work rolled over toward the MAM program.

Deacons John Barry and William K. Reidy became the first to receive the benefit of the new arrangement and receive MAM degrees alongside classmates Julie Basque, Kate Chandler, Kathleen Cullen, Sally Michele Cunningham, Denise Ann Daley, Elizabeth Ann Davis, Jean Marie Eufrazio, Janice Eileen Schutten, Benoit Thibault and Mother Therese McNamara, OSB.

David E. Allen, Peter Braudis and Danielle M. Olsen received the Master of Theological Studies degree.

Sister Marian Batho, CSJ, head of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, delivered this year's commencement address.

Sister Marian said that, since being notified of the speech in October, she visited classrooms and involved herself closely with students and faculty at the Theological Institute to get to know them. She noted that the graduates functioned as teachers as well as students throughout her experience.

"Teaching and enlivening every day are essential in the work of evangelization. I know that you are ready," she said.

MAM program director Aldona E. Lingertat then introduced the class speaker.

Julie Basque, who works in pastoral care at St. Luke the Evangelist in Westborough, spoke on behalf of the class of 2015.

"Our learning and our formation here at the Theological Institute is just the beginning. We are life-long learners," Basque said.

Father Christopher O'Connor, president of the Theological institute, gave words of acknowledgement and thanks to the class, faculty, staff, friends and family of the graduates and those who helped prepare the commencement. He also thanked the pastors and priests who supported the graduates at their home parishes and in their spiritual lives.

"Most important is the support of the clergy, many who are here filling our pews this day, especially the pastors. We thank them for encouraging the laity to respond to their baptismal call to holiness," he said.

Cardinal O'Malley closed the evening with prayer and remarks on the mission facing the graduates in their work with the Church.

The cardinal invoked Pope Francis's image of the Church as a field hospital, calling the graduates "our latest batch of orderlies."

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